I Curse the River of Time: A Novel

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Graywolf Press, Aug 3, 2010 - Fiction - 224 pages
17 Reviews

An enthralling novel of a mother and son's turbulent relationship from the author of Out Stealing Horses

Norway, 1989: Communism is unraveling all over Europe. Arvid Jansen, thirty-seven, is trying to bridge the yawning gulf that opened up years earlier between himself and his mother. He is in the throes of a divorce, and she has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Over a few intense autumn days, Arvid struggles to find a new footing in his life. As he attempts to negotiate the present changes around him, he casts his mind back to holidays on the beach with his brothers, and to the early days of his courtship. Most importantly, he revisits the idealism of his communist youth, when he chose the factory floor over the college education his mother had struggled so hard to provide. Back then, Arvid's loyalty to his working-class background outweighed his mother's wish for him to escape it.

As Petterson's masterful narrative shifts effortlessly through the years, we see Arvid tentatively circling his mother, unable to tell her what she already knows he is thinking. In its piercing portrait of their layered relationship, I Curse the River of Time bears all the hallmarks of Petterson's compassion for humanity that has won him readers the world over.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

There is plenty of compassion in a Per Petterson novel. Even with at least three difficult themes wrapped up into one package. Death, relationships, and the examination of a life too late in the game ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mabroms - LibraryThing

Thank you Goodreads and Graywolf Press for the ARC. It's been awhile since I read Per Petterson, and I had forgotten how long his sentences can be, and how many commas, and eliptical phrases there are ... Read full review


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Section 6
Section 7
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Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
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Section 19
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Section 21

Section 9
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Section 22
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Section 25

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About the author (2010)

Per Petterson is the author of books including In the Wake, To Siberia, and Out Stealing Horses, which won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize. The New York Times Book Review named it one of the 10 best books of the year. A former bookseller, Petterson lives in Oslo, Norway.

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